Getting To Know You, Sarah Kinsella

Hello and i hope you’re all managing well in what has been for all of us a period of time that has been far more testing than the ground in the Welsh National and more trickier than trying to solve the fields of all the Pertemps Qualifiers combined.

In this feature called Getting To Know You my special guest is Sarah Kinsella, Sarah who is Dublin based currently works as the PR Executive for BoyleSports and with a love of our equine and canine friends on the track along with a passion for the arrows, Sarah also writes a weekly column in the Irish Daily Star giving her selections for the greyhounds.

So without further ado lets Get To Know Sarah Kinsella.

Q1 Favourite Racecourses?

Cheltenham, Killarney, Leopardstown & Bellewstown

Q2 Favourite Racehorses

Past – Don Cossack & Apples Jade. Present – Envoi Allen, Presenting Percy, Honeysuckle, Frodon & The Storyteller

Q3 Favourite Race meetings?

Cheltenham Festival, Killarney July Festival & Leopardstown Christmas.


Q4 Favourite Jockeys?

Davy Russell, Rachael Blackmore, Mark Walsh, Kevin Manning & Harry Cobden

Q5 Favourite post race pubs?

I’m usually always working at race meetings so rarely go to the pub after racing but the Speak Easy in Killarney is hard to beat. Ryans in Ratoath after Fairyhouse was fantastic but unfortunately closed now.  

Q6 Favourite journey to a racecourse ?

I love heading down to Killarney to all three of their festivals in the summer. It’s a magical place that is close to my heart. Dad and I stay in Killarney for the Listowel Festival too. It’s a long drive down from Swords but I enjoy it as the craic is great, you know everyone there, huge selection of pubs to go after racing and places to eat. Just a perfect place to have a race meeting as you can walk there from the town. It has beautiful scenery and on a sunny day with a glass of prosecco in your hand, there is no where else you would rather be!

Q7 Favourite place for a breakfast?

My mammy’s kitchen haha! McSweeney’s hotel where I stay in Killarney in AMAZING. Clayton hotel Galway is pretty good too.

Q8 Favourite bands you’d like to see play a racecourse concert?

Coldplay, The Weekend, Becky Hill, Calvin Harris, Sharon Shannon, Damien Dempsey.

Q9 Favourite biscuit to go with a brew?

Tough one. Love a Rich Tea, Ginger Nut, Custard Cream, Chocolate Kimberley & Marks & Spencer Cookies

Q10 Favourite sports teams?

Dublin footballers. Just won six All-Ireland SFC in a row and the ladies team won four in a row this weekend too, outstanding. Fav football team, Liverpool. Fav hurling team, Limerick. Love New Zealand rugby team just for the haka haha!

Sarah with a Kemboy facemask

Q11 Favourite movies?

Way too many. Pulp Fiction, True Romance, 300, all the Marvel movies, Saving Private Ryan, Lord of the Rings, A Star Is Born, Sin City, Sherlock Holmes. Taken, Kiss The Girls, Along Came A Spider, Man On Fire, Eat Pray Love.

Q12 Favourite comedies?

Friends, Superbad, Bridesmaids, Jane The Virgin, Bridget Jones Diary, Schitts Creek, The Grinch, Father Ted, Step Brother, anything with Will Ferrell I love him

Q13 Favourite ways to unwind outside racing?

Greyhound racing is my passion in life. After a long busy day at work or when things get on top of me, the best medicine is to put the leads on the greyhounds and head over the fields. I live on a farm (we like to call it a ‘little bit of heaven’). I’m extremely lucky to have grown up here so the cows and greyhounds keep my sane but also broke as they are expensive to keep!! But I wouldn’t change it for the world. I love a Jameson or glass of red wine in the evenings especially the winter when the fire is lighting. I also love heading to my favourite spa in Wexford twice a year to unwind. 

Q14 Favourite races of all times?

Don Cossack winning the Gold Cup at Cheltenham was magical as it was my first time to head to Prestbury Park. Honeysuckle winning the Mares’ Hurdle at this year’s festival was brilliant along with Envoi Allen winning the Ballymore. Frodon winning the 2019 Ryanair was awesome. Faugheen winning at the Dublin Racing Festival this year, that was magical day. Apples Jade winning the 2017 Mares’ Hurdle and of course Tiger Roll winning both Grand Nationals. What an achievement. 

Q15 Non racing sporting events you’ve attended?

As mentioned I love greyhound racing so the BoyleSports Irish Greyhound Derby is my favourite meeting of all time. We also sponsor the Grand Slam of Darts and the World Grand Prix and I have attended both and absolutely loved it. The National Coursing meeting in Clonmel is like nothing else in this world. Watching Dublin win the All-Ireland SFC at Croke Park and Tipperary winning the hurling with my dad was brilliant too. 

Q16 Favourite place to go for a meal?

The Ivy on Dawson Street. The food is unreal and the cocktails too ha. FX Buckley’s in Dublin city for a steak, it’s the best steak I’ve ever had. Pasta Castello in Donabate as a local restaurant, I just love Italian food, pasta all day long! My mammy’s roast dinner is my number one choice. 

Q17 Favourite towns and cities?

I love Dublin. I love it’s history and it’s vibe. The hotels and restaurants are great and with Croke Park, Shelbourne Park, the Aviva, 3 Arena, RDS and the theatre, you are never stuck for entertainment. Killarney is my second favourite. A wonderful place to get away from it all. I worked in Brighton for a while and really enjoyed it there. Cheltenham is great, the Cotswolds. Beautiful. 

Q18 Favourite races you wished you had been on course for?

Tiger Roll winning both Grand Nationals. Wish I was around for Arkle and Dawn Run too. 

Q19 Choose your own favorite of anything?

Accordello winning the Ladbrokes 600 in 2019. It was my dad Lar’s biggest success ever. €35,000 to the winner and it was live in RTE. It was the best day of my life. Unless I win the Derby some day, I don’t think it will ever be beaten. We still have Accordello at home as a retired racer, he turned 14 last month and it loving life. 

Gordon Elliott Fallout

THE BRAIN SEES WHAT IT IT WANTS TO SEE.

Now that isn’t a typo but it’s something written on copies of the DVD of the acclaimed movie of the very popular play Ghost Stories.

At this moment you’re probably wondering why I’ve began with that at the start, well Saturday night as we all know saw a photo released on social media of Gordon Elliott seemingly sat on a dead horse on the gallops at his stables in Ireland and quite rightly it has caused quite an eruption in the racing and non racing world.

How does this relate to the above wording in capital letters?

Well naturally everyone who saw it wanted to believe it was a fake photo that someone made up and released it onto twitter with the joke hopefully being that Gordon caused the horse to have collapsed from having him sat in the saddle.

Why would we want to believe it to be true? Why would a trainer be sat on a horse that had just died and lay prostrate on the gallops?

Sadly it wasn’t to be, it was true and most of Sunday and today, Monday 1st March has had racing fans and professionals venting their anger such as much respected former jump jockey and pundit Mick Fitzgerald who looked visibly upset on Sky Sports Racing and as a man who has worked with some of the top trainers in the game he knows only too well the care and attention given to these wonderful equine athletes.

It is for sure absolutely baffling why a man who is responsible for some of the finest national hunt bloodstock in Ireland thought posing for a photo or just sitting on a dead horse would be a funny thing to do?  Was it work place “banter” or was it something else that we’ll never know or understand?

At the moment the BHA have banned Gordon Elliott from having runners in the UK till the Irish authorities have done their investigations and brought about a punishment they feel suited to the incident concerned and this potentially could mean a whole host of horses including Envoi Allen missing out on competing at the Cheltenham Festival unless he gets switched to a new stable which his owners are perfectly entitled to do so at any time.

For sure it is always the case that a few seconds of stupidity can cause a lifetime of regret, anybody reading this and i put myself in this too has done,said or typed something on social media which has gone wrong and either upset someone or made us look stupid leading to rifts and arguments, we can’t change what we did but hopefully we can learn from our mistakes and i hope Gordon does the same too.

Owners pay good money for their horses and for them to be trained, and as such we know that in training they are given love,care and respect but this is something all owners would expect to be given in a horses death too wether it be on course, at the stables or elsewhere while in the trainers care.

As for Gordon we can only speculate what will happen, already Betfair have withdrawn from sponsorship with him, Cheveley Park Stud are keeping an eye on how it develops which makes sense because with Cheltenham coming up you don’t want to disrupt your star horses chance of festival glory with a very late switch of trainer and Micheal and Eddie O’Leary, owners of Gigginstown House Stud have gone on record continuing to support him as they are perfectly entitled to do so.

Something has to happen though, the sport has had a huge battle since Cheltenham last year when it was unfairly and wrongly blamed for being a Covid superspreader which it certainly was not and after much hard work,blood,sweat and tears the sport has made huge strides of latewith increased viewing numbers on television coverage plus ITV having it’s popular “Reliant On Racing” segment on the weekend shows but with two weeks before a behind closed doors Cheltenham Festival we get this happening!

Personally i think Gordon Elliott needs to be suspended from training, not indefinitely unless anything else comes out of the woodwork because it always appears to be the norm especially in the celebrity world to bay for blood and make sure someone gets literally everything taken from them, think Roxanne Pallet in Celebrity Big Brother when she lost her radio job and potential acting work from a moment of madness in that famous house and the public seemed to lust for her losing everything she had worked for because of it.

What he did was absolutely beyond the pail of trust between an owner and trainer, if i had horses with him and one of them died and it was that horse he had the photo taken with i would be bloody furious and most likely would find a new trainer for them very quickly indeed, it’s something like this which only gives the anti racing brigade more ammunition for the crusade to see all equine pursuits stopped.

I hope the relevant authorities in Ireland do what they believe to be the right thing as regards sanctions for Gordon Elliott otherwise it will show a lack of leadership and lack of not giving a toss and that is something the sport cannot be seen to have!

It’s important to finish on a positive note on a sad day for racing, one thing which has brought many smiles to people is the huge number of horse photos from owners,trainers,stable staff and racing fans of horses they either look after or simply love and want to show them off so people know that these animals are so well cared for, it reminds of this video below on YouTube, James May with his take on why we are lucky to have these magnificent beasts on this planet with us and what makes the racehorse the athlete it is today